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What makes a great celebrity ambassador?

20 Mar, 2015

We had a 5 minute tea break with Phil Vickery and he shared his thoughts with us

What makes a great celebrity ambassador?In an overflowing mixing bowl of cookery programmes that are currently on our screens, Chef Phil Vickery has really stood the test of time when it comes to his television career and ongoing popularity. Starting out in 1996 on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook, he became a well-loved regular and appeared on over 200 programmes, then moving to ITV’s This Morning as its resident cook.

For over 10 years FML PR has worked closely with Phil Vickery as inspirational chef for the British Turkey industry. We caught up with Phil to talk about what makes a good celebrity ambassador.

Hi Phil, you have been championing British Turkey, what is it that makes you keen to support the industry?

“I have always promoted British where possible – this country produces the most amazing, high quality meat, fruit and vegetables and it is important to support the hardworking farmers. Buying fresh food that has not travelled far and has high standards of quality will always taste better and this goes for British Turkey too.”

What is important to you when considering what brands and campaigns to front?

“You have to believe in the product to be able to endorse it. An ambassador’s role is about trust and influence, and consumers need to be confident that the person fronting the campaign practises what they preach. You can’t sell yourself out and still be respected.”

You have been in the public eye for almost 20 year now, and remain a firm household favourite. What is your secret?

“I love what I do and feel fortunate to be practicing what I love for a living. Connecting with the British public via social media has helped me get a real feel for what people are interested in - the feedback is brilliant. I create recipes that people of all cooking abilities can attempt at home. I have a family myself and understand that everyday cooking should not have to be complicated or time consuming or cost lots of money, and my recipes show this can be done with just a few good ingredients”

We totally agree with you, Phil which is why you are the perfect fit for our British Turkey client. The Twitter Chats we have done were so engaging. We also believe it is because you are so down to earth “in real life”! You have done so much for British turkey, especially encouraging consumers to eat it outside of Christmas – the recipe videos you did with blogger Gourmet Mum were a great success.

“Yes that worked well, because it showed turkey is not difficult to cook or a dry meat as people might think. And it such a great flavour carrier that you can put pretty much anything with it. At home I mix it with spices, citrus or sometimes even shellfish. Sometimes you just have to seed an idea and then people have a go and feel confident to experiment the next time. Cookery is ever evolving and exciting.”

How do you find meeting brand expectations?

“It helps to be realistic about what can be achieved. There are strict commercial broadcast rules too so brand names can’t simply be dropped in. It is much better to take a natural, genuine approach anyway where possible. I like working with FML because they understand how I like to work and together we can produce first class output. We know each other so well all they need to do is throw me a brief with some key pointers and then let me loose to talk from the heart and with genuine passion.”

That really is ‘money-can’t-buy’ endorsement in our eyes. Final quick question then, tell us truthfully what is your filthiest food pleasure?

“Clotted Cream with Jam!”

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